Categories: York County, Virginia Colony.
Robert Napier was born 2 May 1660, York Co., Virginia.
His children with birth dates were:
The above birth dates are from the old style calendar (Julian), when the new year began on 25 March.
A land grant of 28 September 1681 to Mr. William Crump for 1015 acres mentions Robert and his deceased father Doctor Patrick Napier.
The following record concerns a lawsuit between Robert Napier and Captain Soane: Captain Soane had made an agreement to run his horse against one belonging to Littleberry Epes, which was backed by Mr. Robert Napier. Mr. Napier did not produce the horse at the appointed time and the suit was for the amount of the stake, as an agreement had been made that the horse which did not appear should forfeit the whole amount.
On 23 October 1690 Robert Napier patented 190 acres in New Kent,Robert obtained several other patents over the next few years: 753 acres in St. Peter's Parish, New Kent on 29 April 1693; 310 acres in the Pamunkey Neck; 300 acres in King William County on 20 October 1704. Robert Napier appears on the 1704 Rent Rolls of King William County, Virginia.
Although Captain Robert lived in King and Queen, he maintained a connection with St. Peter's Parish. The extant vestry minutes show that Mr. Robt. Napier was paid a thousands pounds of tobacco for keeping the "Widow Faulkner" for the year ending 23 October 1693. On 1 May 1694 is a similar order. He was paid 300 pounds of tobacco on 15 October 1705 and 4 May 1706 to Mr. George Poindexter "assignee of Robt. Napier" 200 pounds of tobacco.
In 1712, the Napiers had moved from their Pamunkey Neck plantation to the Tuckahoe Creek area of Henrico County. A date of 3 December 1715 lists a deed from John Ellis to Robert Napier for five Thousand pounds of tobacco. It was for 150 acres by the mouth of Peter's branch where it entered Tuckahoe Creek. Witnesses were Frances Epes, Jr., Thomas Williamson and Bouth Napier, the eldest child of Capt. Robert Napier, who was then only 23 years of age. Napier sold this land on 1 January 1717 to Nicholas Cox of Charles City County and for the first time shows his unique signature (copied by the clerk) RNapier (the R and N joined by one stroke of the pen), differentiating it from the signature of his son of the same name.,
"R. Napier" signs as a witness to a deed from Samuel Burk to Michal Holland, 17, 18 August 1730, and another from Thomas Christian to Matthew Harris, 3 September 1731. He was then about 71 years old.
Captain Robert Napier died after 3 Sep 1731 Henrico, VA.
The following is from the book Dr. Patrick Napier of Virginia and related families:
Robert Napier was the only son of Dr. Patrick Napier by his wife Elizabeth Booth. He was born ca 1660, in Hampton Parish, York Co.,Virginia. He was living as of May, 1748, in Goochland Co., VA., aged about 88 years.
He married, between October 1688 and October 1689, (probably at St.John's Church) Henrico Co., VA., Mary Perrin, daughter of Richard and Katherine (Royall) Perrin of that county. Mary was born about 1670, in Henrico County, and was living on 3 April, 1718, in Henrico County, aged about 48 years.
Starting out as an orphan child did not stop Robert Napier from becoming a successful example to his peers. Militia officer, plantation owner,vestryman of his parish, man of influence. All these terms describe him.His father, though well known in his own time, did not attain his son's stature in public service, and it would be several generations down the line before his descendants equaled him.
Our information about this man is incomplete because of the loss of county records. Actually, this is an understatement, for not just one county is indicated, but most of those where he lived. York, New Kent,King and Queen, King William and Henrico - all the counties where Robert Napier and his family lived - have had extensive damage to their records. Only Goochland, his final residence, has a semblance of completeness, and ironically, almost no mention of him is made in the records we have seen.
Upon the death of Dr. Patrick Napier in the early months of 1669, Robert was a nine year old without a father. Land wise, he was well taken care f, however, for he would inherit half of a huge plantation of 1500 acres in New Kent County upon the death of his mother, as set out in his father's will dated 26, February 1668/9 and proved less than two months later.
It would be the early 1680s before Robert Napier would reach his majority. It is about that time that we pick up the first notices of the Napier name. There is a grant of land, 28 September 1681, to Mr. William Crump for 1015 acres in New Kent County. It is described as "on the south side and narrows of York River. Begin by the Mill Road near Stephen Crump's fence by a spring; by Westover Path... Mr. Nappier etc.In other words, Mr.Napier's land bounded the grant. The Col. George Lydall here is doubtless the Captain George Lyddall described as a neighbor to his land,by Dr. Patrick Napier in his last will twelve years earlier. However, it should be stated that the Mr. Nappier of this legal description could refer to the deceased physician, not to son Robert, who was only coming of age at that time, and his mother, Elizabeth (Booth) Napier was probably still living and holding the property in 1681.
There are several other references in the Virginia Patent books to "Mr,Napier," as set out in out Appendix to this sketch. Some are surely references to Capt. Napier himself. That brings us to the first grant in his own name. On 23 October 1690 he patented 190 acres in New Kent, in St. Peter's Parish "beginning on his own land; to fork of the tan housdeep Southwest; on land late of Mark Warkman; to the line late of Hukestep, etc." Four head-right were used," by Rowland Davies's certificate to Robert Bouth, 6 August, 1683." Robert Napier used a certificate held, but not used, by his mother's brother, son of his grandfather, Dr. Robert Booth. Incidentally, the "Hukestep" here is probably the Mr. Walter Huckstep of other descriptions. This property was very near where Dr. Booth had lived, for the son, Robert Booth has been officially granted his father's land by Order of Assembly dated 25April 1679, and he has sold or assigned same to Mark Warkman (op. cit.2:228).
Robert obtained several other patents over the next few years: 753 acres in St. Peter's Parish, New Kent (29 April 1693); 310 acres in the Pamunkey Neck which fell successively into King and Queen and then into King William County (which he assigned to one John Pettiver), and 300acres in King William County (20 October 1704) which really was in the same neighborhood. The head-right he used were probably all assigned to him, for he was not a seafaring man and we have no indications of any trips abroad. The 1704 grant was within the bounds of the Indian Lease:Part of the land laid out according to the Articles of Peace for the Pamunkey Indians who at a General Court held 22 October 1701,relinquished their right & pretensions thereto, &c. Now granted by order." It began on the north side of the Swamp on the river, to the mouth of Nicatawance Creek, along side the creek, to Philip Williams line &c. This patent was just two months before his daughter Elizabeth was born, as we shall see.
Counting his inherited land, and if he obtained the whole 1500 acres, supposing his sister Frances had not lived, he would have held 2743acres, not counting the 310 assignment to Pettiver. However, apparently he had sold off some of the land. The Virginia Quit Rent Rolls show he held only 100 acres liable for quit rents in King William County(published 1957 by Annie Laurie Wright Smith, p.64).
It should be explained that King and Queen County was formed in 1691 from a part of New Kent, north of the Pamunkey and York Rivers. Napier seems to have continued in New Kent, being a vestryman of St. Peter's Parish,and having his children baptized in that church from 1692 through 1704.But this is not the case. Other records prove he had continued to live on the land which fell in King and Queen, and then into King William when it was erected out of the former in 1701.
A declaration of the inhabitants of King and Queen County, filed in England 12 March 1701/02, listing all the militia officers of the county,includes Robert Napier, Lieutenant. The French king had tried to set up"James III" on the English throne in place of King William III, but had failed. King and Queen County's officials were glad, and so expressed themselves in this letter of loyalty.
Thus we see that although he lived in King and Queen, Robert Napier maintained a sentimental connection with St. Peter's Parish. The extant vestry minutes show that Mr. Robt. Napier was paid a thousands pounds of tobacco for keeping the "Widdow Faulkner" for the year ending 23 October1693 "according to a former order of them to Mrs. Warkman." On 1 May1694 is a similar order. He was paid 300 pounds of tobacco on 15 October1705 and 4 May 1706 to Mr. George Poindexter "assignee of Robt. Napier"200 pounds of tobacco. The entries of five of his children in the register are as follows: Bouth son of Robt. Napier & Mary (original register shows Mary; printed show Marg) his wife borne ye 1st of Octr.1692; Frances daugh of Robt Napier & Mary his wife borne Febry. ye 5th.1694-5; Robt. son of Robt Napier & Mary his wife borne 7br (September) ye16th; Katherine Daughter of Robt Napier & Mary his wife borne 8br(October) ye 12th, 1700; Eliza Daughter of Robt Napier & Mary his wife borne 10br (December) ye 25th, 1704.
Before we move into the final phase of Capt. Napier's career, we should note that since his wife was a native of Henrico County, the family kept in touch with friends and neighbors there, even before he finally settled there. Record Book 1688-89, p. 74 for Henrico, we read this quaint account:
"Captain Soane had made an agreement to run his horse against one belonging to Mr. Littleberry Epes which was backed by Mr. Robert Napier,L10 side. Mr. Napier did not produce his horse at the appointed time,and the suit was for the amount of the stakes as an agreement had been made that the horse which did not appear should forfeit the whole amount."
Just after the erection of King William County out of King and Queen in1701, Robert Napier witnessed a deed dated 1702, from Thomas Nichols and his wife Isabella to John Cawthorn, for land in the Pamunkey Neck.
In 1712, the Napiers had removed from their Pamunkey Neck plantation to the Tuckahoe Creek area of Henrico County, which would itself, not many years hence, be taken off into Goochland County. Volume 1714-1718 of records, Henrico County, containing wills and deeds, etc., page 59, has a deed from John Ellis to Robert Napier for five Thousand pounds of tobacco. It was for 150 acres by the mouth of Peter's branch where it entered Tuckahoe Creek. It is dated 3, December 1715 and was presented at December Term of court. Witnesses were Frances Epes, Jr., Thomas Williamson and Bouth Napier, the eldest child of Capt. Robert Napier, who was then only 23 years of age. Napier sold this land on 1 January 1717to Nicholas Cox of Charles City County and we see the unique signature(copied by the clerk) R Napier for the first time (the R and N joined by one stroke of the pen), differentiating it from the signature of his son of the same name. (This was proved at April Court 1718, p. 240 op. cit.)
The final indications of the public appearance of our subject are in Goochland Co. Wills and Deeds, Vol 1, pp.211 and 286. There, "R. Napier"signs as a witness to a deed from Samuel Burk to Michal Holland, 17 & 18August 1730, and another from Thomas Christian to Matthew Harris, 3September 1731. He was then about 71 years old.
Returning to Henrico County records, we believe that we have found the last record of Mary (Perrin) Napier, in this power of attorney appended to the deed of sale from her husband to Nicholas Cox.
I doe By these Presents appt. Capt. William Randolph my true & lawful Attorney for me & in my stead to acknowledge my right of Dower to one hundred and fifty acres of land sold by my husband to Mr. Nicholas Cox confirming the Same as if personally present myself, as Witness my hand this third day of April 1718.
MARY NAPIER (SEAL) Witnesses: John Speare Samuel (S mark) Hix James (1 mark) Spears
This passed Court in Henrico County 7 April 1718, William Randolph Clerk(P. 241 op. city.). It appears that Mary Napier was not able, for some reason, to be in court to relinquish her dower rights, which resulted in the affidavit above, or power of attorney. Other historians of the Napier family have apparently never seen the above, and have concluded that Mary (Perrin) Napier was dead shortly after her daughter Elizabeth was born, in 1704, thereby forcing wrong conclusions about the ages or birth dates of the two known children who were not baptized at St.Peter's, namely, Patrick and Rene Napier.
We cannot securely claim that Capt. Robert Napier died in Goochland County, although most of his children lived there during his life time.Henrico's records, and the other counties' already discussed above, were so damaged that it is possible he lived in one of them and wrote his will there, or his estate was administered and we have no clue to the same.There is no will or probate for him in Goochland County. The law suit titled Mary Napier vs. Robert Napier the Younger, held in Goochland's May Court, 1748, (being Mary (Hughes) Napier versus her own husband, Robert Napier) tells us that the older Robert was probably still alive, though now nearing 90 years of age.
Capt. Napier is seem to be the real progenitor of the family in Virginia,since he was the only male child of his parents, and had a much larger progeny than his father.
Robert NAPIER (Sr.) was a landed proprietor in New Kent, King and Queen, King William, Henrico, and Goochland counties, Virginia. His principal crop was tobacco. From1690 through 1701, he received nearly 1300 acres for his importation of settlers. In the records of old King William County, Virginia, reference is made to him as "Captain," indicating that he was an officer in the colonial militia.
Concerning Robert NAPIER (Sr.) in Henrico County, Virginia, Records:1688-89 (p. 74), the following is recorded: "Captain Soane had made an agreement to run his horse against one belonging to Mr. Littleberry Epes,which was backed by Mr. Robert Napier 10 lb a side. Mr. Napier did not produce the horse at the appointed time and the suit was for the amount of the stake, as an agreement had been made that the horse which did not appear should forfeit the whole amount." It is also recorded that Robert NAPIER (Sr.)s wife Mary (PERRIN) once took him to court to prevent him from gambling away their children's patrimony and to ensure that he would spend a percentage of his income solely to support his family. In view of these two cases at law, it may be worth noting that Robert NAPIER (Sr.) was - by profession - an attorney and that, in his church in Hampton Parish, he held the office of vestryman.
On March 9,1985 Clan Napier in North America was organized with Lord Napier and Ettrick as Chief and patron, and today it has more than 255 members in 33 states and three foreign countries. The Napier tartan is blue, black and white and was adopted when King George IV made his celebrated visit to Edinburgh in 1822. The clan motto is that of it's chief, "Sanstache, without stain" and it's badges the chief's crests trapped and buckled.
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On 21 Sep 2016 at 15:28 GMT Greg Napier wrote:
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On 4 Nov 2015 at 11:00 GMT Bob Tonsmeire wrote:
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